Beijing: Marjan Cencen, the Slovenian Ambassador to China offered a strong pitch for his country as a tourist destination during an interview with chinadaily.com.cn on Wednesday.
Despite being small, Slovenia has very “diverse areas” which Ambassador Cencen said make it an appealing place to visit. One can climb the Alps, enjoy the country’s Mediterranean climate, and even explore underground caves, all without leaving Slovenia, he said. It also has the second largest percentage of land covered by forest in all of Europe.
With about 2 million people – who Ambassador Cencen said were all very friendly – Slovenia covers some 20, 000 square kilometers (which makes it less than one ninth the size of Hebei Province) and has a coastline of 46.6 km.
"The size of Slovenia is also an advantage for tourism,” the ambassador argued, because once in Slovenia, tourists can visit neighboring countries easily. In addition, Slovenia is a signatory of the Schengen visa agreement, which eliminated border controls between participating countries, and is also a member of the Euro currency zone. Slovenia shares boundaries with Austria to the north, Croatia to the south, Hungary in the east and Italy to the west。
Slovenia’s efforts to attract Chinese tourists including participating in tourism fairs held in Beijing and Shanghai, organizing special business conferences about tourism during the Beijing Olympics, publishing articles and magazines which present Slovenia as a tourist destination, and discussing cooperation with tourism agencies, Ambassador Cencen explained.
“Slovenia is now gaining an advantage in tourism,” he said.